Monthly Archives: September 2022

Microscope adapter for mobile phone camera

Anyone who has tried to take a photo through the ocular of a microscope knows that it can be very hard to get the camera correctly positioned. The slightest deviation from the ideal position results in a less than full field of view. There are five degrees of freedom to get right, X, Y, Z, pitch and yaw so the process can be a bit frustrating.

To help with this task, I designed a 3D-printed adapter between my Nikon stereo microscope and Galaxy S9 mobile phone. The ocular has an outside diameter of 34 mm so the adapter fits any microscope with the same diameter. The adjustability should also allow it work with a large number of mobile phones.

Here is a photo of the design I came up with:

Photo of the adapter

There is a barrel that goes around the ocular and the position of the barrel can be fixed inside the main piece of the adapter via a locking screw. Here the layer lines of the 3D print helps to ensure a good grip. Three adjustable side-stops can be locked into place using M3 screws to fit the phone. There are recesses to hold standard M3 nuts in the plastic, so no special heat-set inserts are necessary. Washers are also needed at the screw heads. These could have been eliminated by a 3D-printed washers, but I decided to use metal washers instead.

Another view of the adapter

The photo below shows what it looks like when the adapter is used. Double-sided tape holds the phone in the adapter while I was taking this picture, but normally one needs to hold the phone in place in the adapter.

The adapter in use on the microscope

Here are two sample pictures taken with the adapter. It is much quicker and gives better results than hand-holding the phone.

Photo taken through the microscope using the adapter
Photo taken through the microscope using the adapter

I printed the adapter using PLA, which worked fine. No supports are needed.

The 3MF files are available in the following zip-file. Make sure to print three copies of the MicroscopeStop1.3mf-part.